Re: Heart of the debate
On Tue, Feb 15, 2000 at 03:53:34PM +1100, Don Sanders wrote:
> In this specific case I want to determine if I can apply the GPL to
> all the files in a particular kdepackage/application directory (I call
> this work the KDE application, I'm assuming I wrote all the stuff in
> these files and own the copyright on them, I also assume this KDE
> application uses QT). Section 0 of the GPL defines the Program to be
> this work.
> There seems to be general agreement that using this definition of the
> Program one can comply with sections 1 and 2 of the GPL.
Section 2 of the GPL says that I can modify the program and
Section 3b of the QPL says that I can't modify the program and
redistribute it unless I grant Troll the right to relicense
It seems to me that Section 2 of the GPL allows some modifications to
this KDE application which section 3c of the QPL does not allow me.
And, from a legal point of view, I don't see any difference between this
particular restriction and a restriction which would say that I have to
pay Troll for each distributed copy. Neither case is distribution
under the GPL terms.
> Now I can distribute the complete source code to the Program (which
> includes QT) under the terms of section 1 and 2 of the GPL as *I hold
> the definition of the Program constant, so that QT is (still) not part
> of the Program*, thus I still own the copyright to all of the Program
> and thus I can still license my work under the terms of section 1 and
I think you agree that the complete source code is an example of a "work
based on the Program".
But if you're distributing a "work based on the Program", you must
comply with section 6 of the GPL which states:
6. Each time you redistribute the Program (or any work based on the
Program), the recipient automatically receives a license from the
original licensor to copy, distribute or modify the Program subject
to these terms and conditions. You may not impose any further
restrictions on the recipients' exercise of the rights granted herein.
This is the clause that prevents commercial outfits from taking
GPLed code, modifying it, and requiring a fee for further distribution
of the source. From a legal standpoint, however, the nature of
the restriction isn't much of an issue. Requiring assignment of
copyright has the same legal value as requiring a cash payment.
> When distributing the complete source code under the terms of sections
> 1 and 2 any part of the complete source code that is not part of
> the Program (or the Program's source code under Section 1++) is
Except that the QPL doesn't allow you to distribute under the terms
of Section 1 or 2.
> Now you might say this is wrong as distributing the complete source
> code under the terms of Section 1 and 2 requires applying terms of the
> GPL to the complete source code (that is treating the complete source
> code to be the Program) but I don't believe this as (amongst other
> things) a copyright lawyer told me this is an incorrect interpretation
> of the phrase "the complete source code must be distributed under the
> terms of Section 1 and 2".
This concept is a non-issue in my opinion.
The only cases where it could make a difference is where there are
restrictions that prevent you from distributing under terms of sections
1 and/or 2.